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January 3, 2013

Life coach's book focuses on positive people skills

SALEM — After 12 years working for nonprofits, Salem life coach Carrie Stack started her own consulting firm, and whenever she spoke, she would ask people to describe their “nightmare boss.”

Then, she would ask them to share stories about their “dream boss.”

Over and over, the lists she would compile in her workshops would be the same. The nightmare boss would be hypocritical, be self-important, have favorites, be a poor listener, snap at others, micromanage things, act aloof and never say: “thank you.”

The dream boss, on the other hand, respected, listened to and trusted employees and was hands-off, accessible and appreciative.

Stack, a certified life coach and founder of the Say Yes Institute at the Enterprise Center at Salem State University, compiled these lists into a book published in November called “The Dream Boss: Powerful, Positive and Professional,” published by My Life List Publishing of Boston. Stack will be the featured speaker at a two-part Essex County Community Foundation workshop starting Tuesday.

“The lists were always the same, and that’s where the book started coming from,” Stack said.

The ideas about how one leads effectively are not just confined to the nonprofit world, but to anyone leading an organization.

“Not to minimize what this is, but this isn’t rocket science,” Stack said, “it’s just perspective. It’s helping people regain their footing, get some traction and to be able to regroup.” Her goal for readers and clients is that people will learn how to go through their day with a sense of happiness without being in a “constant state of agitation” both at work and at home.

Stack grew up on the South Shore and lives in Lynn. She has worked as a teacher, a counselor and a program director working with state and federal governments on prevention work, working for the state Department of Children and Family Services, Northeastern Family Institute and Healing Abuse Working for Change. She was also the director of the Lynn Youth Neighborhood Coalition.

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